Monday, October 5, 2015

Santa Clara St. Regis Canoe Carry - Part 4

I'd explored off the trail with the dogs and gotten lost (see previous posts), finding myself without my bearings in the Santa Clara Tract of the Adirondacks:

Walking in the mature forests was relatively easy, but thick stands of ferns and Balsams were difficult to walk through - sometimes impossible:

I traveled downhill and eventually found the river again, thinking that would save us:

There was an old kiosk denoting it as the end of the canoe carry trail. Clearly, however, this trail hadn't been used in decades and there was nowhere on the river which I recognized. Furthermore, the brush was so think along the water that I couldn't push my way through:

The solution, it seemed, was obvious. I'd follow the old trail back to the road. So off we went:

And it was easy walking for awhile. Then the trail ended. But we'd gone so far that I thought it best to keep going, keeping the sun always on my right. We walked for hours, old trails sometimes appearing in the forest and then just ending. Eventually it was obvious that we were lost again. I was 10 to 20 miles from the highway and everywhere began to look like everywhere else. It was predicted to drop into the 30s overnight and no one would notice that I hadn't made it home. There was no cell phone coverage. Eventually, I tried walking back the way we'd come, this time by keeping the sun always on my left. Clover seemed to be the only dog who understood the goal of returning to our starting point and she led the way. We stumbled onto the main trail and, with great relief, turned down it toward the trail head:

I took no pictures during our lost time. I was too focused on the task at hand. Once back on the right trail, however, I got out my camera again. The only problem? I'd turned the wrong way on the trail and wound up back at the St. Regis River. There was nothing for it but turn back and keep hobbling:

It's a lovely landscape and an easy trail. But I was limping and my braces had accumulated pine needles. Poor Seamus had slowed down also:

We passed by the pond and peat bog:

I was much relieved and happy once again, albeit exhausted:

I can't remember when I've ever been so happy to see our little red car:

We all piled in and began the drive home. It took both Seamus and me a couple of days to recover, but we were soon fine again. I won't, however, be straying so far off the trails ever again:

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Santa Clara St. Regis Canoe Carry - Part 3

I was hiking with the dogs on the St. Regis River canoe carry trail (see Parts 1 and 2, posted previously). Little Jack had never seen such a wonderful place before:

The low water level in the St. Regis River made it an even better place for the dogs to play than usual:

And play, they did:

When it was time to return the way we'd come, I decided to first explore along the shoreline and gave the dogs a call:

It was a happy day:

We began walking downstream. The walking was difficult but the scenery was outstanding:

Soon we were on what looked to once have been a road:

So we continued on. We were headed in more or less the correct direction to reconnect with the main trail, so I thought that's probably where it would take us:

We followed the old road until it just ended in the forest:

We'd gone so far already that I didn't want to turn back. So I thought we'd just walk ahead a bit more and see where it lead:

Sure enough, we found a trail - not the trail we wanted, but a trail nonetheless:

But after awhile, this trail also just ended. And there we were, lost in the wilderness. I'll post Part 4 tomorrow:

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Santa Clara St. Regis Canoe Carry - Part 2

The dogs and I were taking a short hike along the St. Regis canoe carry trail in the Santa Clara Easement of the Adirondacks (see also Part 1, posted yesterday):

Fergus was feeling just fine and showing off his new haircut:

Seamus' newly thinned body allowed him more energy than he'd had for a long time:

The weather was perfect, the scenery beautiful, the Balsams aromatic and the dogs happy:

This was boreal forest and a joy to experience:

The dogs investigated, sniffed and peed on everything:

We were almost to the St. Regis River:

We walked out of the forest into a clearing and saw this exquisite wilderness view:

The water in the St. Regis River was lower than I'd ever seen it:

The dogs played in the grasses along the riverbank:

And we explored the surrounding landscape:

The sandy soil supported lots of Reindeer Lichen, and all of it was all a perfect place for happy dogs to play. I'll post Part 3 tomorrow: